The view from the pitbox...
Qualifying was similar to Saturday. All in pairs, Hayes and Skeer working together perfectly. It was a cool morning so the times were really fast. They got below the lap record with this time Skeer on top, with Hayes in 2nd. 3rd and 4th was the pair of Clement Lee and Grant Westmoreland who teamed up together followed by Launchbaugh, Jordan Busk and Powers in 8th,
On to the race...Skeer and Lee who qualified 1st and 3rd took the jump , Hayes ducked down behind Lee in Nascar 1. Jordan jumped high at the start and with a push from Powers got around Westmoreland and was on the High Side now in fourth with Powers Launchbaugh Busk, Westmoreland and Molino.
Into turn 3 they go not as crazy as yesterday, but still interesting, some inside scoop here(jordan had a problem with his transmission from the first race on Saturday, he is running STL as well and could not use 2nd gear which really hurts in traffic during side by side action at the starts and through some of the corners, it was a great learning experience for the 19 year old, but made for some interesting driving and traffic jams at times!) The top 3 got out to a 4 car length lead accelerating out of turns 3 and 4. Jordan was clogging it up with low RPM's in 3rd gear
Skeer, Lee and Hayes had about 10 car lengths by lap 2 but going into Nascar 1 Hayes had a problem,(stuck in 4th gear) Skeer was behind Hayes and got balked...Jordan and the party train of Launchbaugh, powers, busk, westmoreland all got by both Skeer and Hayes. Hayes dropped out. Lee now had about a 1 second lead over Jordan and the rest. Enntering the Kink Lee visibly slowed, Jordan closed the gap went 2 wide into turn 9 with Lee's car lacking power, Jordan got by after an interesting run through a puddle and around a cone to take a short lived lead at the start finish stripe. at Nascar 2 Powers pushed Skeer and they both went by Jordan. Launchbaugh dove to the inside of Jordan at turn 3 and Jordan pulled a rookie mistake and went 4 wheels off at the exit of turn 3 Lee, Launchbaugh, Westmoreland, Busk all got by.
Up front Skeer slowly pulled Powers and Powers slowly pulled the battle fromn 3rd to 8th... Every lap was a different leader in the battle for 3rd. Westmoreland who got a bad start battled his way through to take 3rd by 1 second over Jordan (4th) who won by a fender over busk at the line,(saturday's race busk beat Jordan by a fender) Busk was 5th Launchbaugh again had bad luck and fell from the battle for 3rd.
Coming off the Winter break here is my observations, what Skeer has learned from a year in MX5cup racing....He has really improved his race craft,very rarely puts himself in the wrong position, and does not make mistakes. He is a smart driver and really quick, dominated the weekend.
Charlie Hayes another Teen Mazda Challenge driver is also really quick in his 1.6 he will be a force all year, could win it all in Northern California (NORPAC)Relaibility will be key here
Clement Lee is very quick and doesn't make many mistakes, but his car has let him down on a couple of occasions.
Powers is the quiet assassin ,..always in the right place at the right time finished 2nd and 3rd over the weekend very quietly and uneventfully, This is the reason why he leads the SOPAC division in points.
Dean Busk also was in the Mix and got 2 5th place finishes,was always hanging around and never put a wheel wrong all weekend that I can recall
Westmoreland was a bit snake bit with 2 DNFs on Saturday including a broken wheel and a 3rd and a 5th(STL)on Sunday.
Launchbaugh who had a weekend that was just cruel to with a couple of late in the race car problems
Jordan(biased here) had a learning weekend,overcame some adversity with no second gear and hung in there for a 6th and a 4th in SM and 2 4ths in STL.
The next national is a Rational at Willow Springs next month which allows all to lick their wounds and regroup.
The last 2 weekends were really fun for us, our first experience with SCCA. We enjoyed it and will be back, Joey got a short lived view from the front for the first time and I think double dipping into STL really teaches how to drive against other cars which helps with racecraft. As Elliott Skeers Dad Tim and I spoke STL is a simulation for the Continental Tire Series as you have to deal with cars with more power and less handling and vice versus..
I will say in STL we had an advantage against most of the SM double dippers and that was our tires, the BFG G-force R1-S were an advantage. Without 2nd gear in the slow corners he was able to roll through the corners carrying more speed than the SM6's around 2-3 mph' consistently which masked the acceleration difficulties he was having without the added RPM's second gear provided..
I am determined to broadcast live streaming in the car, We got it to work for a short time via my iphone and an OWLE Bubo camera mount, but I think the gopro with the wifi will allow some amazing things in the future... Stay tuned.
I know many of you do not see or know many of the West Coast spec miata racers. I hope with these reports they will become more familiar and my hope is to get some of them to come East for the runoffs and other interesting races. See you at the next race..Joe
Joe Jordan the turd.....Joey is IV or quatro!
Ran in Firestone Firehawk in a Miata in 1994
Speedvision Cup Miata's 95-99
World Challenge Miata in 2000 AT MRLS
Had 3 Rookie of the year winners "Rising Stars" In IMSA
Kids now racing...Started them in Lemons Miata we built into the 2013 Western Division SCCA Majors Champion!
6th at 50th SCCA Runoffs in SM OPM's Rental 01
2nd fastest race lap at the Runoffs.
2014 Teen Mazda Challenge (west) Champ!
2015 Pirelli World Challenge Round 15 Winner in TCB and round 16,17,and 18 Winner!